ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Armelia Horton scored a season-high 18 points and dished out a career-high seven assists as the women's basketball team (4-3) pulled away late from visiting Lafayette (2-5) Wednesday evening at the Reilly Center, 72-63.
The redshirt junior did much of her work in the second half as she scored 12 and issued four helpers in the second frame in leading the Bonnies' comeback effort. Trailing 58-54 with 5:56 left, the Brown and White went on an extended 12-2 run in just under three minutes to turn that four-point deficit into a 66-60 lead with 3:10 remaining.
Sophomore Chelsea Bowker knotted the game at 58-58 with a lay-up, and on the ensuing defensive possession, Horton got a steal and then found classmate Jessica Jenkins in transition on the right wing. The Marion, Ohio native – who was just 1-for-6 from the field to that point – hit nothing but net from distance to put the Bonnies ahead for good.
After Jenkins' 3, Lafayette head coach Dianne Nolan called a timeout and St. Bonaventure head man Jim Crowley immediately gathered his players and stated, "We are not done."
The Bonnies weren't done, as after the Leopards pulled to within one at 61-60, St. Bonaventure finished on an 11-3 run and didn't allow Lafayette to make a single shot from the floor for the final 6:19 of the game – which is something it failed to do during the game's other 34 minutes as Lafayette shot a season-high 50 percent from the field. That is the highest total the Bonnies have allowed an opponent to shoot since Dayton connected at a 51.8-percent clip last year in a 76-65 defeat of St. Bonaventure.
"We're certainly not where we need to be in terms of defending together," Crowley commented. "They shot the ball well; we didn't take it away. To let a team shoot 50 percent and come into our place at score 63 points is not at a level that is acceptable."
What was acceptable for Crowley was his team's offensive performance, especially the play of Bowker, who finished the game with a career-high-tying 16-point effort. Junior Megan Van Tatenhove went about her usual business quietly, but still finished with a game-high-tying 19 points and career-high-tying two blocks. The Bonnies shot 60 percent from the field in the second half, in addition to a crucial 13-for-14 (92.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
"I thought Meg (Van Tatenhove) was more aggressive, Arm (Horton) played a great game and Chelsea (Bowker) did what we needed her to do," Crowley said of the three double-figure point scorers for the Bonnies. "We corrected some things and really took control of the game late which on Monday (loss to St. John's) we did not do."
Alicia Manning led three Leopard double-figure scorers with 19 points. She was joined by Elizabeth Virgin with 11 and Lauren Jackson's 10. Jackson also finished with a game-high-tying six rebounds, as the Leopards out-rebounded the Bonnies on the night, 31-20.
Heading into the contest, the Bonnies were 0-3 when they turn the ball over more than their opponents, and 3-0 when they cough it up fewer times. That record is now extended to 4-0 as the Bonnies turned the ball over just four times on the night, their lowest total since they gave it away just six times in a 74-50 win over George Washington last year.
The four turnovers also tie the Bonnies for the second fewest turnovers in a game in the history of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Saint Joseph's and Temple share the all-time conference record with three turnovers, and St. Bonaventure now joins Duquesne as the only other team in the history of the A-10 to commit just four turnovers in a game.
Turnovers are likely to be a vital statistic in the Bonnies next matchup when they head to Marist to play the 4-1 Red Foxes on Saturday evening. Marist currently leads the nation in turnovers per game, averaging just 9.6 giveaways per outing. Tip-off is set for 7:30 as Marist will play its first home game of the year.
Game Notes: Bowker's seven made field goals is a career high … this is the third time this year St. Bonaventure has had three double-figure scorers – they have yet to get four into double figures … freshman CeCe Dixon finished with seven points off the bench … Jenkins has now been held to six points on three different occasions, including two straight games – the other four games she has scored no fewer than 16 points … St. Bonaventure finished 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) from the line.